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THE INSIDE TRACK

Prosecutors in Lewis Case Faced With Uphill Battle

May 30, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

Prosecutors in Atlanta will try to salvage their murder case against Ray Lewis this week after four days of testimony in which little went right for the state.

District Attorney Paul Howard had promised the jury that a limousine driver and a friend of the victims would testify that Lewis punched someone. That testimony never happened.

Instead, witnesses flip-flopped, changing the stories they had given investigators. After four days of testimony, the prosecution did not produce a single witness who saw the Baltimore Raven linebacker hit, kick or stab anyone.

"It went as well as any criminal trial I've ever been involved in in 20 years," said Don Samuel, one of Lewis' lawyers. "Witness after witness after witness you would think were defense witnesses, and they were actually called by the state."

Lewis, the NFL's leading tackler last season, and two friends are charged with murder for the stabbing deaths of two men outside an Atlanta nightclub in January.

Pro Football

More details in the death of Oakland Raider defensive back and former UCLA star Eric Turner have come to light.

A recorded statement from Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, where Turner died Sunday at 31, said he had difficulty breathing and was taken to the facility by ambulance at 10:30 a.m. He was admitted to the intensive care unit, where he died at 4:35 p.m.

The cause of death appeared to be complications of abdominal cancer, according to Craig Stevens, medical examiner at the Ventura County Coroner's office.

The Raiders issued a statement: "We have lost a respected warrior on the field and a great teammate and father off the field. The Raiders will miss Eric's special qualities." Raider Coach Jon Gruden said Turner was "a great guy who will be sorely missed by a lot of people."

Washington Redskin cornerback Darrell Green, who turned 40 in February, will sign a five-year contract with the team, the Associated Press reported. A source said that the contract will be worth more than Green's current five-year, $12.5-million deal, which has two years remaining.

The source said negotiations for the new contract were initiated by owner Dan Snyder, who has been close to Green and who wanted to deflect speculation that Green would be forced into retirement if the Redskins sign Deion Sanders. Sanders is expected to be released by the Dallas Cowboys this week in a salary-cap move.

College Basketball

Bob Knight will be interviewed by Roy Firestone and Digger Phelps at Assembly Hall on the Indiana campus for a one-hour special that will be shown on ESPN today at 3:30 p.m. and repeated at 9 p.m. It is Knight's first television appearance since Indiana University suspended the coach for three games, fined $30,000 and ordered to follow a strict code of conduct.

Guard Dahntay Jones, who led Rutgers in scoring last season as a sophomore, is transferring to Duke. The 6-foot-5 Jones averaged 16 points last season. Rutgers was 15-16.

Golf

Colin Montgomerie broke away on the back nine and became the first player to win the Volvo PGA Championship at Virginia Water, England, three years in a row.

After a difficult front nine, Montgomerie ran off three consecutive birdies beginning at the 11th hole and won by three strokes.

Montgomerie closed with a three-under-par 69, and his 17-under 271 was one stroke off the record of 270 set by Bernhard Langer in 1987 and matched by Montgomerie last year when the course was 40 yards shorter.

Soccer

Junior Agogo scored goals in the 38th and 80th minutes to lead the Colorado Rapids to a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution at Denver.

The victory ended a home losing streak at three games for Colorado (6-7-0).

Miscellany

A citizens group concerned about environmental damage promised to fight a court decision allowing the 2004 Olympic village to be built on the outskirts of Athens, Greece. The country's highest administrative court over the weekend rejected an appeal from the group to prevent construction on the site, which is at the foot of a forested mountain near a national park.

Germany upset Australia in women's field hockey, beating the Olympic and world champion, 2-1, in the Champions Trophy tournament at Amsterdam.

Syracuse routed Princeton, 13-7, at College Park, Md., to win its sixth NCAA Division I lacrosse title. Liam Banks had a career-high six goals and an assist for the top-seeded Orangemen (15-1). Princeton finished 12-3.

A group of Serbian soccer players were working out at a stadium in Nis, Yugoslavia, about 150 miles south of Belgrade, when lightning struck one of the players, Ivan Krstick, and killed him.

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